The story of how David dealt with victory over the Amalekites (1 Sam 30) has much to teach us about the way God works and therefore the way we too should live. David’s army of 600 men set off in pursuit of the Amalekites on God’s orders, but 200 of them were too exhausted to continue and stopped at the Besor Valley, becoming baggage handlers, in effect (as one whose role in theme parks is as the ‘bag lady’, I have some sympathy with these men!) Unsurprisingly, when the 400 men returned victorious – with extra spoils from war above and beyond their own wives and children – they were reluctant to share with these men, whom they saw as having had no part to play in their victory.

We can understand their reasoning, but it was based on worldly thinking and false assumptions (namely, that the victory was all down to their cleverness, instead of acknowledging God’s help in all that had happened.) David was insistent that there should be equality in dividing the spoils, and even went so far as to give some of the spoils of war to other towns in Judah. David acted with generosity and kindness, compassion and mercy, understanding that teamwork matters and that all of us have different roles to play at different times. There is no room for a competitive spirit or meanness in how we deal with each other; the Bible is clear that this view came from ‘evil men and troublemakers.’ (1 Sam 30:22) God’s thoughts and ways are far higher than ours (Isaiah 55:8-9), and when we have received grace and mercy from God, we will want to deal with grace and mercy too. Knowing God affects every area of our lives and how we live towards others.